The Light of Day
Falls Creek Falls · Falls Creek · Gifford Pinchot National Forest · Carson · Washington · USA
I recently had the distinct honor of being asked to present my work to the Forest Grove Camera Club, a personable and passionate group of enthusiasts who have had such luminaries as Ben Canales and Lijah Hanley stroll through as guest speakers before me. And I'm suppose to follow on their heels, are you kidding me?? But before I really knew what I was getting into, I'd already blurted out an unrestrained "Yes!" via email to their gracious contact Gordon Battaile (whose minimal online presence belies his talent...I've seen just enough of his work to know...). As I was cobbling the talk together at the 11th hour (as is my unfortunate and infuriating habit), I initially struggled to figure out just how I was going to fill up over an hour's worth of time presenting my modest body of work, then later wondering which images I'd need to exclude in order to fit the slideshow within the allotted time. Needless to say, I was quite surprised at the number of images I've managed to amass over the past six years, even though my goal has always been to put forth quality rather than quantity. And as a bonus, no one in the audience fell asleep. They were, in fact, the perfect audience, engaged and curious, and they helped make me feel like the invitation they extended me wasn't the desperate schedule gap-filler I initially thought it had to have been.
The exercise proved to be a nice stroll down memory lane, and it left me appreciating just how I've managed to get as far as I have (but with much, much farther to go...) when at the outset of medical school I'd already resigned myself to shelving my fantasy of pursuing landscape photography. Time, experience, and skill don't grow on trees, after all. What I've found is that wedding a passionate but time-consuming pursuit such as photography with full-time work in a profession that unforgivingly doesn't always respect your 'free time' sometimes takes a bit of marriage counseling. It means often having to forsake the pursuit of premium light and instead shooting scenes in rather unorthodox conditions. More and more, though, I'm beginning to appreciate the opportunities such conditions provide, and being the waterfall-lover that I am, a bright, sunny day is just as well spent in the cool downstream spray of a thundering cataract as it is waiting out golden hour in the shadow of a snow-covered mountain.
And when that waterfall is a 335-foot behemoth, well...
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Ben Canales: http://www.thestartrail.com/
Lijah Hanley: http://www.lijahhanley.com/